Week 5: Revisions to the Components

After the success of last week with achieving the change in pitch through the linear actuators compressing the strings, we spent a good majority of this week revising our design to more easily play the bass.


The strumming mechanism has gone through a lot of revisions since the week before. One major thing that was added was a 3D printed structure for holding the strumming solenoids in place. C-clamps were printed to hold the base structure to the bass guitar. Overall, this has added to the stability of the design and made it more robust.

Front of the strumming mechanism
Back of the strumming mechanism
Diagonal view of the strumming mechanism


One major concern with the state of fretting the bass at the end of last week was that the linear actuators did not press down on the strings as hard as we would have liked. It pressed the strings hard enough that it changed the pitch, but only worked consistently with the lowest string. Because of this, we began to revise the design for this week by employing multiple fixes for creating a better system.

One of the first things we decided to change about the bass was to move all the strings down to a position lower than they would normally be at. We then detuned the strings to match the pitch of what their lower counterpart would be turned to. What this achieved was a looser string that could more easily be compressed by the linear actuators.

Another revision to the fretting was employing a bar that was thinner where it makes contact with the strings. This decrease of surface area means a higher concentration of force on the strings.

Together, these two revisions allowed for better fretting. We have more design revisions that we wish to apply to the fretting before the end of week 6, but none of those are ready as of yet. This week we have moved to a more stabilized fretting structure that is bringing us closer to a more robust bass-playing microcontroller system.